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Magoo

Who has an Elitist?

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If you have an elitist, post a pic and tell us what you think of it.

 

I've been very interested in them. The problem is that they are kind of rare. They aren't at GC or Sam Ash, I never see them at stores that sell used gear, and I almost never see them on Craigslist, which means i've never got to spend any time checking one out.

 

So that's why I can only wonder if they are worth their asking price. They are kind of in a weird grey area. Better than the regular chinese models, but not quite as good as Gibsons? I like MIJ stuff. But i'm not too crazy spending 1k on an elitist LP or Sheraton, and have people mistake it for the much cheaper MIC/MIK versions.

 

Are they significantly better than a regular MIC model that has been upgraded with quality pickups and electronics? I know they are not nitro finished, but is the poly finish the same as the MIC models?

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I have a 2010 Elitist Casino, stock except for the Bigsby I added:

 

006_zps4f500b88.jpg

 

Comments:

As for Elitists, I believe that only the Casino is still in production (Sweetwater has them as "arriving soon"). I bought mine from SW and waited about 3-4 months from order date for it to arrive. My rep told me they get them in "batches" every so often. That would explain your difficulty in finding one (of any model).

They were selling for a couple hundred $ less when I bought mine, and I got a special deal from my SW sales rep, but even at today's prices, I'd pay it in a heartbeat. This has really become my "go to" guitar.

All the electronics and p/u's are USA, and the poly finish does not seem as "thick" or glossy as my other Epi's.

I also own a Gibby LP, Carvin, PRS Mira, and I'd put the fit/finish on the Elitist as good if not better on some things than others.

 

All in all, if the house catches fire, this will definitely be in one hand if you get my drift.

 

Edit: to answer your last question, yes. Here's my highly upgraded Dot (SD p/u's, B7, Switchraft jacks/etrc. CTS pots. Sounds great but still doesn't have some of the bling and quality of the Casino.

002_zps11f929c8.jpg

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Yes indeed, I have two. A Broadway and a Byrdland. I consider them among the finest instruments that I own. [thumbup]

 

 

100_1540_zpsd889d836.jpg

 

DSCN0098.jpg

 

DSCN0088.jpg

 

DSCN0091.jpg

 

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DSCN0352.jpg

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I has one, I does.

 

Elitist Broadway --- best guitar I've ever played! And that includes several Gibson L-5's and 70's Japanese lawsuit copies.

 

ElitistBroadway.jpg

ElitistBroadwaybackcloseup.jpg

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I has one, I does.

 

Elitist Broadway --- best guitar I've ever played!

 

ElitistBroadway.jpg

ElitistBroadwaybackcloseup.jpg

 

 

 

Ah Parabar you've got such GOOD taste indeed! Very nice wood. =D>

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Sleeko and Parabar...

 

Sooooooooooooooo envious. Georgeous guitars (and glad you both concur on the quality of the Elitist's)

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Sleeko and Parabar...

 

Sooooooooooooooo envious. Georgeous guitars (and glad you both concur on the quality of the Elitist's)

 

Thanks there Dennis! [smile] Bought both of these brand spankin' new from Fuller's right before they were discontinued. Each priced out at $1600.00. An outstanding value IMO. Not quite as smooth sounding as The L4CES but at half the price they are very close indeed. [wink]

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picture550.jpg

 

(Top) AIUSA 1965 Lennon Casino, AIUSA Revolution Casino, Elitist Casino

(Bottom) Elitist Dot, Jack Casady Bass, plus some Gibbys

 

 

picture116x.jpg

 

(Top) Broadway, ES-295, Wildkat

(Bottom) Elitist Byrdland, Elitist Broadway, Zephyr Blues Deluxe

 

 

picture549.jpg

 

Elitist SG, two Elitist Les Pauls, and a Gibby

 

 

252xj.jpg

 

(Top) Masterbilt AJ-500RC 12-Fret, Masterbilt AJ-500R, Masterbilt DR-500M, Elitist J-200

(Bottom) Elitist Texan, two McCartney Texans, EL00

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Ooops. Guess all the links to my old photos are dead.

 

Elitists are excellent instruments, and were certainly made as well if not all always spec'd quite as well as the same model Gibsons made at the same time.

 

Red 333

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I have an Epiphone Elitist Casino, is an amazing guitar. The quality is perfect, one of the best guitars in the world. I also have an Epiphone Sheraton 1964 Reissue John Lee Hooker I don't know if it counts as an Elitist but is also amazing. This Sheraton is an Assembled in the USA model.

 

My Casino Elitist

 

9119df99e1aac1f11aea1b445c2a63e4.jpg

 

My Sheraton AIUSA

 

53e927a54d95b8c63b762f8fee1890cd.jpg

 

Regards from Mexico.

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Elitist Riviera equal to a Gibson only poly instead of nitro.

 

Used to have an Elitist Valensi same story equal to a Gibson.

 

I own Gibson's too if that helps. 335s, SGs, LPs several acoustics.......

 

Only thing from the China line IMO that comes close to the Elitist line is:

 

61 RI Casino I have one

 

RI Sheraton I have one

 

I own both the IB Lennon Casinos if you can find the 61 RI get that instead, very close to the same woody tone of a Gibson 330, that or the old sig Lennon's with the nylon saddles.

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I also have an Epiphone Sheraton 1964 Reissue John Lee Hooker I don't know if it counts as an Elitist but is also amazing. This Sheraton is an Assembled in the USA model.

My Sheraton AIUSA

53e927a54d95b8c63b762f8fee1890cd.jpg

The AIUSA '64 JLH Sheraton is not an Elitist, but it sure counts in my book! I have the exact same guitar, and if anything, the AIUSA Sheraton is of a higher overall quality than the Elitist Sheraton. Same goes for the two AIUSA '65 Lennon Casinos vs the Elitist Casino.

 

The AIUSA models have a nitro finished body (rather than the Elitist's poly finish), with the body made in Japan by Terada (like the Elitists), but then shipped to Gibson in Nashville for hardware and final assembly. There are a number of other construction differences that brings them closer to a Gibson in overall build quality vs the Elitist - including the headstock angle, fretboard construction, type of truss rod, and two hole TRC.

 

I state none of the above in an effort to cast a negative light on the Elitist line, as my own Elitist Casino confirms the high quality of these instruments. But the AIUSA models are simply supurb, and a slight notch above the Elitists, imho. If you ever run across one for sale at a reasonable price, buy it!

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Hey everyone, I have the oppertunity to go after either an elitest dot or les paul. Space and value is a commodity so I am looking for any insight into my decisuon! I currently have a 335pro which plays and sounds awesome and a 1960 tribute plus les paul. If I buy one of the elietists I am selling its counterpart. Thanks

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I'm always happy when others are happy for their guitars. I'm personally not that much into bling, but I'll say this, if anyone can find a 335 "type" that plays much nicer than my second Dot (have two, thinking about toasters or p90s on one), I'd be doggone surprised.

 

Epi overall IMHO has reeally nice-playing instruments and that's my schtick over pretty. But if these play as comfortably for anyone as several of my Epis play (and some others), for those who like the pretties, more power to you.

 

What I find interesting about both Gibson and Epi is that on most instruments you can buy upgraded "pretties" and in some cases "practicals" such as a 3-piece neck, etc., but you can tell the difference price-wise if you look at bit. Frankly with the nameplate covered I couldn't tell the difference between a Squier and a high-end Fender.

 

Thing is, I also don't think Epi has to be significantly inferior to its Gibson counterpart - or up-blinged - if properly set up and if the instrument and the player have a physical playing geometry that "fits." I don't even like the normal Gibson/Epi electric controls, but I'll put up with it 'cuz on the one's I've bought, the shape "fits." Ditto my newest full hollow, an Eastman that's a single pup 175 clone. For me, that's the perfect geometry. Honestly, if the finish on the body had been bubbled barn paint I'd still be happy with the way it helps me play.

 

m

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Epi overall IMHO has reeally nice-playing instruments and that's my schtick over pretty. But if these play as comfortably for anyone as several of my Epis play (and some others), for those who like the pretties, more power to you.

It's not about "pretty" at all with these Milod. It's about tone and playability. Have you hands on compared a Korean Casino or a Chinese Casino to an Elitist Casino? I happen to be fortunate enough to own one of each, and imho, there is no question regarding the difference in these critical categories.

 

Again, cranking it up another notch, it is not at all about "pretty" with my Gibson ES-330 VOS, which goes one significant step beyond the Elitist Casino in tone and playability. Yes, this is my subjective opinion, but it's based on multiple sampling and owning these instruments side by side, which are all of the same basic design.

 

The standard Epi line, be it Casinos, Dots, Rivieras, or Sheratons (which in some cases have more pretty & bling than similar Gibsons), offer a tremendous value for the money. But is there a worthwhile difference between these models and their Elitist or Gibson counterparts? Absolutely.

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I've played expensive; I've played cheap.

 

Granted, I've only been playing guitar 50 years and other instruments for another 14 or so, but...

 

Why a Casino and not a Ramirez or Hauser if it's the aesthetic? Or even, if one asks a far better picker than I am, the playability of those instruments compared to a cheapie steel-string, narrow-nut Gibson at a third or an Epi at some fraction of that?

 

I'm a playability nut. Period. Okay, the guitar has to sing in my hands but... there's much more involved. Even a Xylophone responds differently to a different touch.

 

Our emotion similarly affects our hands. It affects whether the "tone" from an instrument is of aesthetic value greater than that of another or not.

 

My most played guitars are not those with the greatest dollar value. And a few with the greatest dollar value are as quite playable but hidden away toward some odd "rainy day" and I've dumped some with far greater dollar value and purported spiritual panache because they didn't work in my hands.

 

We've read on the Gibson forums, and I've read even more so on some "classical guitar" oriented forums, the individuality of the artist and his/her instrument and most importantly, their relationship.

 

Bottom line really is, "if it suits you, it tickles me plumb to death."

 

The Elitists are awfully nice guitars. Do they play better for me than my Dot? Mebbe, mebbe not. How's it set up? What are the strings? What's the spacing at the bridge? What's the difference in geometry for a given player given the dimensions of a given instrument and how those dimensions affect one's technique? Too, which elitist since each, as each Gibson or each Epi, is a unique instrument.

 

To put it into another brand, honestly, you could gold-plate a Strat into a $10,000 instrument with lotza custom features but... the neck, the scale, the radius, the nut, the bridge, the body size and shape... I'd rather have a $300-$400 Epi of about any type. I'd accept the gift of such a Strat, but... No thanks for playing it. Unless it's rebuilt to be an SG type shape amd scale with a master volume...

 

Ditto an L5 vs. an ES175. Or better, an L5 Gibson vs an Epi 175 when it was made... or an L5 vs. the Eastman version of the 175?

 

The L5 is a lot more pricey, and folks rightly love them and their tone. Me? Naaah. I'll accept the gift, but for playing, I'll take the 175 - and I can make that shape sound better than I can do with the bigger body because of the geometry and how I play.

 

That doesn't mean the L5 is a lousy guitar. I just think it's too big for me. It ain't as comfortable.

 

Other variables? But it's obvious to me that the human factors - including attitude - play a role in one's playing and guitar preferences. If a "thisorthat" style is your muse? More power to you.

 

m

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I'm a bit late to this party on vaca. last week and out of town

 

but,,

anyway,,

 

here's a pic of mine

 

it's a early 2000 Chet Atkins (country gent)

 

it's a great guitar.

 

Chet1.jpg

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Other variables? But it's obvious to me that the human factors - including attitude - play a role in one's playing and guitar preferences. If a "thisorthat" style is your muse? More power to you.

No question there are an almost limitless number of variables and human factors. We deal frequently in broad generalizations on this board, but I repeatedly say, each piece should be assessed strictly on it's own merits. I also believe you won't truly know the variables even within a particular model unless you play three or four of them.

 

Milod, you've probably got about ten years on me & I'm sure we've both played a lot of guitars over the years, but the Casino/330 offers a perfect opportunity to compare various price points of the same basic model. Excluding vintage pieces, we have the numerous Korean and Chinese models, the Japanese Elitist, the AIUSA Casino, and the recent ES-330L & ES-330 VOS. When compared in a side by side manner, and with multiple examples of each model (to find a stellar example), the results can be very interesting indeed. And in my experience, you frequently do get what you pay for in terms of a more satisfying instrument based on tone and playability.

 

All of that said, I greatly enjoy various aspects of each instrument I choose to keep, which is why I still have the less expensive Peerless Casino and 50th Anniversary '61 Casino. As said before, they truly do offer a great value for the money - but if I could keep only one, I'd be very tightly clutching the ES-330 VOS.

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Guys in the classical guitar playing biz will sometimes spend a week or so in a "store" playing, sometimes restringing and playing again, perhaps a dozen of the finest. We're talking into the five figures here. Rejection of this or that instrument sounds as if one is bullying the less attractive girl or boy in high school.

 

But finally one, imperfect as it may be perceived, may be purchased.

 

Or perhaps one, regardless that the dimensions are so similar most wouldn't notice between a Ramirez and a Hauser, for example, will call out to this player. Another may call out to another... and so it goes.

 

I'm a multiple guitar person on grounds that there are different feels and different needs for different sorts of music that I play. But I have two and a half guitars that help me play out of 20 that all but one are my "working" guitars. Both, btw, have nearly the same dimensions overall, both short scale small-body archtops. Both sing differently, but help to lead my fingers, not confuse them.

 

When any of us finds such an instrument, he or she is "blessed." To find two or more in a lifetime is to be twice blessed, truly, for some players spend a lifetime and never find such and instrument.

 

m

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